Days ’til Debate: 4 - In case you hadn’t heard, ABC News, Yahoo! News, WOI, The Des Moines Register and the Iowa GOP sponsor a debate of Republican candidates at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Mitt predicts long primary… http://abcn.ws/sihXjk
BO and TR – 100 Years Apart? - The coolest dispatch of the day comes from Devin Dwyer. He interviewed a woman in Kansas who saw Teddy Roosevelt and President Obama in the same place 100 years apart. http://abcn.ws/rv6Ziu
As to Obama’s speech and his grab for the populist mantle, check out reporting from Dwyer and Mary Bruce. http://abcn.ws/sRRR39
It felt like there was something of a Teddy Roosevelt tipping point today. Obama was in Kansas, on the plains, trying to put progressive in a bottle.
Gingrich and Roosevelts and Vats of Sausage – Newt Gingrich was on the radio being hammered by Glenn Beck for previously supporting a Teddy Roosevelt-style health care mandate.
Their back-and-forth included a discussion of Roosevelt’s views on the Food and Drug Act, a Gingrich defense and Beck’s summation: “So you’re a minimum regulation guy on making sure the people don’t fall into the vats of sausage?”
More on Gingrich and the Roosevelts, Teddy and Franklin, here. http://abcn.ws/uHwYaM
Dear Mitt, You’re Welcome. Love, Ron Paul - Amy Walter reports that Ron Paul’s Anti-Gingrich TV campaign continued in earnest. http://abcn.ws/teSjMm
New GOP Strategy: Don’t Attack Obama - Yahoo! News’ Rachel Hartman got accidentally invited to a strategy call with Republican voices. ”‘We’re hesitant to jump on board with heavy attacks’ personally against President Obama, Nicholas Thompson, the vice president of polling firm the Tarrance Group, said on the call. ‘There’s a lot of people who feel sorry for him.’” http://yhoo.it/sH93cM
U.S. Ambassador Returns to Syria – a Month After Recall Over Safety Concerns – ABC News’ Luis Martinez reports that U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford will return to Damascus Wednesday. Ford left Syria in October amid worries for his safety. Ford has spoken out against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. http://abcn.ws/vSAsXs
ABC News will air Barbara Walter’s exclusive interview with the Syrian president tomorrow. Read more about that interview here.
Gingrich Google Gusher - From Ned Potter: On a Google blog, Jake Parillo of their politics team posts graphs of the number of searches for Gingrich and Romney, and says the debate Nov. 9 was a turning point. That night was probably most famous for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s now-famous “brain freeze,” when he blanked out on what was the third government department he would eliminate — but Parillo says it was a breakout night for Gingrich. http://abcn.ws/t14PqL
GooGoo for Gaga at the WH - http://abcn.ws/v668wY
Mitt Will Play Sunday – Mitt Romney was on Cavuto this afternoon, but it is his interview coming up this weekend that piqued our interest. A day after the ABC News debate, Mitt will sit for a Sunday show interview for the first time since 2010. http://abcn.ws/s6FycQ
Pentagon no no, Newt? : From Jake Tapper and Luis Martinez: GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich’s critical of comments about Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made last week got him out of the good graces at the Pentagon. ”We have the right to know whether Secretary Panetta’s harsh criticism of Israel is merely his own personal opinion, or a reflection of the policy of his Commander in Chief,” Gingrich said last week. In response, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said, “I haven’t seen the report, but if that’s what former Speaker Gingrich said, then I would encourage him to read the speech again and to read it closely.” http://abcn.ws/tnP2yY
Trump Debate Loses Romney - Michael Falcone got a statement from the Donald, who let the Romney off the hook. “It would seem logical to me that if I was substantially behind in the polls especially in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, I would want to participate in this debate,” Trump said in a statement to ABC News on Tuesday. “But I understand why Gov. Romney decided not to do it.” Trump and his aides declined to elaborate on why he was willing to let Romney off the hook for skipping the debate — a collaboration between the conservative website Newsmax.com, ION TV and the American Conservative Union.
Bachmann and Trump? – Bachmann, who met with Trump a number of times, says questions of bias delayed her Trump debate decision, according to Russell Goldman. http://abcn.ws/v8MNal
Boy Confronts Bachmann About Gay Mom – An 8-year-old boy confronted GOP contender Michele Bachmann at a book-signing event in South Carolina and stood up for his gay mother.
Rep. Bachmann, who supports a Constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman, initially coaxed the seemingly shy child to speak during the weekend event, only to be left virtually speechless when the boy said his mother was gay. “My mom is gay and she doesn’t need fixing,” the boy, identified only as Elijah, is heard whispering to Bachmann in a video posted to YouTube. Bachmann initially says nothing to the boy, but as he walks away she responds: “Ok. Bye-bye.” http://abcn.ws/soAOKV
Good Morning, Iowa - Shush Walshe wraps up everything Iowa – 28 days to go: http://abcn.ws/tI8gPX
WH Coin - ABC News’ Tom Shine reports on Obama, Clinton and Biden: The Wealthy, Wealthier and…Not So Wealthy http://abcn.ws/rIuqYT
Senate GOP Rejects Updated Democratic Payroll Tax Cut Plan – ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: “Senate Republicans rejected a new, tweaked Senate Democratic payroll tax cut extension proposal because they say it is not, as billed by Democrats, a compromise bill.” One of the disagreements Congress will have to resolve is over a tax Democrats would impose on those Americans making more than $1 million in a year. http://abcn.ws/vpYlZn
But there’s another plan waiting for everybody.. http://abcn.ws/v1uML7
Women CEO’s Want Qualified Workers – ABC News’ Sherisse Pham reports that female CEOs told Republicans “there are actually hundreds of thousands of jobs that are going without being filled,” because it’s so difficult to find applicants with education in technology http://abcn.ws/tyGYL2